Friday, May 18, 2012

Graduation, Take Three.

Graduation for child number three is this weekend, and I face the event with mixed feelings.  I'm proud of Anna for the person she's become, and her achievements in High School.  As much as possible, she's ready to go away to college in the fall.

On the other hand, she's not quite ready to be out on her own just yet.  As an illustration, I offer the following incident, which in retrospect is funny.

On Monday, Anna had a dentist appointment in Fremont, and for the first time she was going to have to drive there on her own.  She'd been to the office many times before, but always as a passenger, and admitted that she didn't remember exactly how to get there.

A bit earlier in the day, I'd overheard her mother suggest she might want to print some MapQuest directions.  Anna replied that her older sister had recently printed some, and she would just use those.  I had an appointment that required me to leave the house about twenty minutes after she was planning to leave.

Five minutes before her planned departure, she was angrily poking buttons on the computer and growling about the printer.  I could only guess she couldn't find the already printed directions, and had, perhaps, waited a bit too long to get them.  I offered my help by hand-sketching a map (which she considered useless -- admittedly not a great rendition), and ended up finding and printing turn-by-turn directions for her.  These I handed to her as she rushed out the door, already running late.

I breathed a sigh of relief.  About five minutes later, the phone rang.

"Dad, I have a flat tire," Anna said.  Sigh.

I looked at my watch, and realized I needed to leave in ten minutes myself.  After briefly considering ordering Anna to call AAA, I loaded some tools in my Suburban, and rescued her on the side of the road.  To her credit, she handled the situation with poise -- not fuming or panicking about being late to the dentist.  It might have been my fastest tire change, ever.  I thought back to the famous scene in "A Christmas Story" as I was taking off the lug nuts.  I made it to my appointment on time.  Anna was forty minutes late, but the sympathetic dentist accommodated her.

Yesterday, I drove her car in to have two new tires put on the rear (the flat was shot, and the tread was so low on it's mate, it wasn't worth keeping).

So, you see, ready for college, but probably not ready to be on her own.

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